TAMARA Charles Laure was laid to rest, yesterday March 8th, at the Choc Cemetery. The funeral service of the deceased police constable was held at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, and was attended by a multitude of mourners, consisting of family members, friends, members of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force, and many others.
WPC 115 Tamara Charles Laure passed away on the morning of February 21st at the Victoria Hospital, after ceding to complications sustained by a motor vehicular accident, back in 2010, which left her paralyzed. Tamara Charles Laure was on her way to a planning session for a pageant for the RSLPF when the accident occurred on the Barre de l’isle.
Tamara Charles Laure became a member of the RSLPF on 28th October, 1997, and served as Press Officer and Public Relations Officer. She was the wife of Police Officer, Cameron Laure, and mother of Zii Malia Gabbi Laure. Tamara Charles was 41 years old at the time of her passing.
From the account of all who gathered to remember her on Friday afternoon, Tamara was a woman with an immense love and passion for life, which resonated beyond the grave. She was said to have had a fighting spirit, and an optimism which defied all odds. Ronald Phillip, police officer and life-long friend of Tamara, described her as a “bubbly” person who was hopeful to the very end. Ronald paid a visit to Tamara while she was undertaking medical treatment in Martinique. He recounted a pair of sneakers that she had asked to be sent to her, which she placed on her bedside table, believing ever-firmly that she would walk again. He further declared, “She was a very loyal friend who treated me like a brother.” He said Tamara was more strong-willed than anyone he knew. Ronald related that he had spoken to Tamara while she was still trapped in the crashed vehicle in 2010. He said that her response to his concerns was a simple, “I am okay.” He said that her optimism never withered.
On the morning of March 8th, female police officers also reminisced about the life and vitality of their late colleague. Tamara was described as charismatic, warm, compassionate, faithful, and as a woman of unconquerable will and faith. Colleagues said she strove relentlessly to defeat her disability, as she continued her duty as a police officer from a wheelchair. One officer remarked that it was nearly impossible to ever feel sad around Tamara. They added that she continued to encourage and inspire others to strengthen and look after the health of fellow colleagues.
All who spoke of Tamara emphasized her loyalty to her duties as a police officer. She partook in the Miss RSLPF Pageant before her disability, and was planning another pageant when the accident occurred. When it was consequently suggested that the pageant be cancelled, Tamara declined the cancellation and proclaimed, “The show must go on.” Tamara Charles Laure was described as an exceptional woman, who exemplified what it meant to never give up.
The description of Tamara’s strength of character, which her colleagues provided, was later emphasized in her eulogy which was delivered by Ex-Commissioner of Police, Mr. Vernon Francois. In the eulogy he made the following sombre appeal, “Remember how she never gave up in spite of her struggles.” The source of Tamara’s strength and valour was also revealed in the eulogy, and proclaimed in her own words, “I can do all things through Christ.”
A Military Parade was held in her honour from Bridge Street to Jeremie Street on Friday. Her body was laid to rest at the Choc cemetery.